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The Thread By Philip J. Davis

The Thread by Philip J. Davis

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The Thread Summary

The Thread: A Mathematical Yarn by Philip J. Davis

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Table of Contents

I. Tschebyscheff.- A book is born and a severe criticism is levelled at it. The famous Russian mathematician Tschebyscheff is introduced.- II. Cyril.- In which the author speculates on why it is hard to transliterate Russian words. His position on transliteration is made clear.- III. Watt.- How Watt's steam engine led to the discovery of a great mathematical theory, and how theory and practice are often miles apart.- IV. Lipkin.- How a brilliant young man from Lithuania was scooped by a captain in the French army. The author finds a startling connection between the young man and himself..- V. Pafnuty.- In which the author is struck by a strange mania, leading him first to the Nicean Creed and later to Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall fame.- VI. Theodora.- How a cucumber slicer fanned the flames of the author's mania, and he received a letter from the banks of the Nile at Aswan.- VII. Paphnutius.- Of the Desert Fathers, including a hippopotamus story and stories about Paphnutius, the Holy Man of God.- VIII. Thais.- In which the author speculates on the dialectical union of opposites, and how, in his mad pursuit, he is led to Hrotsvitha and to Oscar Wilde.- IX. Cadbury.- Always on Quest, the author travels to Tasmania. He eats custard at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, only to get his spelling criticized.- X. Yeti.- Airborne across the Eastern skies, the author, like jesting Pilate, wonders what truth is. He recalls several instances in which it is hard to know the truth.- XI. Lama Ted.- An incident in Rhode Island, involving prayer flags dropped from the Mount Hope Bridge, shows how the truth is elusive.- XII. Nadra.- In which the author meets an exilarch, encounters a wraparound motorcyclist, and spends the night in the Princess Room.- XIII. Herod.- The author, with head covered, stands at The Wailing Wall next to a black priest in a Roman collar. He ponders the nature of symbols.- XIV. Babnuda.- At Abu Nussar's Nite Club, the author finds the Rock Bottom Resolution of his problem.- XV. The Man on the Moon.- How Tschebyscheff got to the moon. Loose threads for future tales.- Epilogue.

Additional information

NLS9780817630973
9780817630973
081763097X
The Thread: A Mathematical Yarn by Philip J. Davis
New
Paperback
Birkhauser Boston Inc
1983-01-01
128
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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